Jeremiah 29:11, 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Each man on earth desires to have only good things happen to us. For that to happen each one of us tries to do our best. The Bible teaches us that the Lord only desires good things and prosperity for us. You must be thinking, if that is so then why do we have bad things happen to us??? Judges 6:13, 13 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.”
Hebrews 12:5-11, 5 And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says,
“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
6 because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”
7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? 8 If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! 10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
There are two ways before us.
- To go away and live a life like we wish like the prodigal son
- To live obediently with family, amidst corrections, troubles and tears, yet live in hope.
The word of God provides us with some examples.
1.Joseph: Joseph was the eleventh child of Jacob. He was a shepherd. He was hated by his own brothers, thrown into a dry well, and then sold away for twenty pieces of silver as slave. He was put into prison for an act he did not commit. The young man, Joseph did not lose hope in times of all these trials. He submitted himself completely to the Lord and lived in faith. The Lord’s plan was not to keep him in the prison. He was led out of the prison to the pharaoh’s palace. How?? The pharaoh saw a dream one night, No one was able to interpret the dream correctly. Joseph interpreted the dream correctly and told the pharaoh what was to happen in the coming future. The pharaoh understood that the Lord’s spirit was with Joseph. He appointed him as his commander, second to him in position. There was a severe famine everywhere in the world. Genesis 41:56-57, 56 When the famine had spread over the whole country, Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold grain to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe throughout Egypt. 57 And all the world came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe everywhere. Here we see that Joseph came to the rescue of his family.
2.David: David was a shepherd boy. Goliath, the giant had been challenging King Saul to war. Saul and his army were frightened of Goliath. David was victorious over him with only a stone and a sling. The Lord’s plan was for David to kill Goliath. In this way, David reached the palace of King Saul. After the death of Saul, David ruled the kingdom of Israel for a long time. Lord’s plan was not to limit David as a shepherd, rather to have him appointed as king.
3. Ruth: Naomi had two sons. Both of them died. Among the two daughter in laws, the elder one returned back to her family. The younger one was not ready to abandon her mother in law. To have a means of living for the two of them, Ruth went to glean along with other harvesters in the fields of Boaz (a relative on her husband’s side, a man of standing from the clan of Elimelek). Boaz praised Ruth as a good woman. Following every instruction that Naomi gave her, Ruth became Boaz’s wife. They were the grand parents of David. Our Saviour, Lord Jesus was born in this lineage. The Lord’s plan was not for Ruth to live the life of a widow with her parents.
4.Esther: The girl named, Esther was an orphan. She was raised by her close relative, Mordecai. Many young girls were brought to King Xerxes’ palace to be appointed as queen in place of Queen Vashti. Mordecai helped Esther reach the palace. The king selected Esther as his next queen.
Haman, the enemy of Jews, was laying a plan to execute the Jews. Upon knowing the plans of Haman, Mordecai advised Esther how to help the Jews. Esther 4:13-14… “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. 14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” Esther gained the King’s trust, and became the reason behind the rescue of the Jews and execution of Haman. The Lord’s plan was not to let Esther live the life of an orphan. He made her the queen of King Xerxes, and saved the lives of the Jews.
At that time, there weren’t just one Joseph, David, Ruth or Esther on earth. There were many young men and women of their age. They were different than the rest of the men and women their age. The Lord does not look upon us with human eyes that sees only the physical appearance. Our Lord sees our heart and soul. Obedience, humbleness and unwavering faith in the Lord amidst trials and tribulations was their unique quality. This quality led them to be selected for the Lord’s plan.
The other two people through whom the Lord’s plan was done are, Joseph and Mary in the NT. They were selected to be parents of our Saviour, Jesus, Why????? Angel Gabriel appeared before virgin Mary and said Luke 1:30-33 “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
Luke 1: 38,38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
This humbleness was the reason why Mother Mary was selected for this divine plan. She is the model of humbleness. Joseph was a righteous man. He followed the Lord’s plan without any questions.
the Lord’s plan was to send Jonah to Nineveh, because 1,20,000 population of that land were drowning in sin. The compassionate Lord desired a change of heart of the people. Jonah fled to Tarshish. In the middle of his journey, he was thrown into the sea where he was swallowed by a whale. This is what we also do. then we find ourselves in the middle of the sea of tribulations. Whose fault is it??? Ours??? The Lord??? In Psalm 139:13, King David says, 13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Jeremiah 1:5, 5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
Jeremiah 18:4, 4 But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.
Dear children of God, like clay in the hands of the potter. Let us also submit ourselves to the Lord to carve and shape each one of us according to His plans for us. Let us abandon the way of Jonah and follow the path to blessings.